If you have been a victim of sexual assault there is help. The Sexual Assault Program offers services to victims. You do not need to report the crime to law enforcement to receive these services. The Sexual Assault Program offers victims trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners at hospitals in Vermont, testing, treatment, support services, HIV infection prevention and a limited amount of counseling.
Who is eligible?
Victims of sexual assault are eligible if the crime happened in Vermont. The victim does not have to report the crime to the police to be eligible.
This program through the Center for Crime Victim Services provides resources for payment of out of pocket medical expenses after a victim’s insurance has been billed for sexual assault examinations following the crime.
What is covered?
Resources are available to pay for the initial sexual assault medical examination to include:
- collection of evidence
- STI (sexually transmitted infections) and HIV screening
- pregnancy testing
- treatment of related injuries
The Program also pays for certain medical follow-up care related to the sexual assault.
The Sexual Assault Program can also consider payment of up to 20 sessions of mental health counseling with a licensed mental health provider of your choice for treatment related to the sexual assault.
How do I access the Program?
Usually a victim of sexual assault will go to an Emergency Room to access services. That person will be seen by a specially trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE). The SANE nurse explains the examination process to the victim and will ask the victim to fill out and sign a Sexual Assault Billing Form. The signed Sexual Assault Billing Form gives the Center for Crime Victim Services permission to:
- pay your bill
- contact the medical provider or victim’s insurer to obtain initial sexual assault bills
- access follow-up bills
- obtain an explanation of benefits from a victim’s insurance company.
This documentation is needed in order for the Program to pay for the sexual assault bills.
How is my confidentiality protected?
Because insurance is required to be billed, there are specific procedures put in place to protect a victim’s confidentiality. If the victim identifies a safety/privacy concern and has a Vermont issued insurance policy through Cigna, MVP, or BC/BS VT the victim can fill out a Protected Health Information form (PHI). The SANE nurse will help the victim fill out this form. The PHI confidential communication form allows the victim to change the address that the insurance company has on file to an address at which the victim will receive an explanation of benefits (EOB) or other documents from the insurance company. An EOB describes the medical care and services that are processed through a victim’s insurance company.
The Sexual Assault Program covers eligible sexual assault charges when a victim is uninsured or has an out of state insurance policy.
Medicaid does not send explanation of benefits following a procedure so it is not necessary to fill out a PHI form.
Will I be contacted by the Sexual Assault Program?
You will only be contacted by the Sexual Assault Program if there is missing information on the Sexual Assault Billing Form which prevents us from being able to process payment of your bills. The Sexual Assault Billing Form provides you with the opportunity to provide the Sexual Assault Program with your mailing address, phone number, email, the days of the week and the hours of the day that you are available to be contacted so we can reach you if necessary.
If you have any questions please contact the Sexual Assault Program Specialist.
Program Contact Information
Center for Crime Victim Services
Sexual Assault Program
58 S. Main St., Suite 1
Waterbury, VT 05672
800-750-1213 toll free Vermont only